International and comparative Energy and Climate Law
Level of Study
Place of Instruction
Faculty of Law, UiB
Objectives and Content
The aim of the course is to give the student knowledge and understanding of the regulation of the production, distribution and marketing of energy and of the design and implementation of climate regulation and its implications for the energy sector, in international law, European law and some important national jurisdictions.
The course provides insight into basic principles for resource governance and the relationship between public interests and business interests and the use of modern market instruments in governance. Energy law is at the very centre of climate and environmental law and the question of sustainable development. The World is facing a great challenge in producing enough energy in a manner that does not lead to global warming and climate change.
Energy is essential for all aspects of life in a modern society and the need for energy is growing. Energy production from fossil sources (like coal, oil and gas) is also one of the main drivers of climate change, and great efforts are made to bring about a shift from energy production based on fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, in order to stop or at least limit climate change.
The general question will be how legal regulation can contribute to an effective and sufficient energy production and marketing within sustainable limits. The course will present the main legal principles, systems and instruments used to influence energy production and consumption.
The course will cover governance and regulation of production and distribution of petroleum and renewable energy (like hydro, wind, solar, thermal and other forms of energy) in international and European law. International and European climate regulation is an important part of the legal framework for energy production and the energy market and will therefore be an important part of the course.
A central part of the system for governance of the energy sector is the regulation of access to energy resources on land as well as offshore. As offshore energy production is becoming more important for petroleum as well as renewable ocean and wind energy, the regulation of continental shelf and exclusive economic zone will be important, as well as environmental regulation of the oceans (OSPAR-treaty etc.). The question of jurisdiction over and ownership of energy resources especially on the continental shelf is thus an important part of the course.
The system for granting access to the petroleum and other energy resources for national and international companies, through different concession, licensing and contracting systems, and for organizing the State participation in the activity, is an important part of the course. This involves national as well as EU-regulation and will give the students understanding of the relation between EU/EEA law and national law. The License system and the use of Joint venture agreements to secure state control as well as effective and secure activity, constitute examples of different techniques for governance of an important industry.
The Joint Operating Agreement as business agreements is also covered. The Joint Operating Agreement is a specialized form of agreement used in international petroleum and mineral industry, in order to organize the activity and share the risk.
The course concentrates on alternatives to fossil fuel and on the systems for effective distribution and use of energy.
Transport of energy, especially through infrastructure as pipelines for natural gas and grids for electricity, and the systems for marketing will be important. The EU-directives for Natural gas market and Electricity market will be analyzed and compared with parallel regulation in other countries, like USA and Australia. The legal instruments for opening of the energy market for competition through access to transport systems and competition regulation will be included in this.
The dominating legal models for organization of energy markets for oil, natural gas and electricity, and the impact on this has on the use of renewable energy, is also a part of the course.
Environmental aspects of energy production and distribution and especially the impact of climate regulation and establishment of a carbon market on energy production and marketing will be another central part of the course.
The course will cover the main aspects on climate regulation on basis of the Paris-agreement, with focus on its impact on the energy sector. A strong emphasis will also be made on market based instruments for enhancing renewable energy like the EU Emission trading system (EU-ETS), green certificate (Norway and Sweden), certificate of origin, feed-in-tariffs etc.
The course will give the students a fundamental understanding of the system for governance of the energy sector, climate regulation and the interplay between climate regulation and energy regulation and knowledge of terms, problems and basic principles and legal concepts used in energy and climate law.
The students shall have a sound knowledge of:
- The international rules on jurisdiction and ownership of energy resources
- EU-regulation of climate and the energy sector
- National and international regulation of access to energy resources
- The regulatory system for and organization of petroleum production and marketing
- The regulatory systems for energy production from renewable resources, such as concession regulation, access to energy resources, safety regulation and environmental regulation.
- Regulation of transport and of market access for energy, such as third party access to transportation systems, unbundling, system operator's role etc.
- The organization and regulation of markets for oil, natural gas and electricity
- The relation between energy regulation and climate regulation
- A general understanding of the main principles in taxation and government involvement in Petroleum activity
Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to
- Explain the objectives, principles and development of climate and energy law and policy from an international and European perspective
- Describe the organizational and regulatory framework of the energy sector
- Apply legal principles and regulations in problem-solving in energy and climate law on international and national level
- Understand and apply specific rules in national jurisdictions on the basis of general principles and international rules
- Explain the regulatory issues in the energy sector in an international and European perspective
- Clarify the system for emissions trading in various jurisdictions, including the EU, in particular for the energy sector
- Discuss the regulation of carbon capture and storage (CCS)
- Explain the purpose and design of renewable energy and energy-efficiency regulation
- Have established a foundation of an international career in the field of climate and energy law
The course will strengthen the student¿s understanding of different systems for governance and especially the use of market systems for influencing behavior
Required Previous Knowledge
Three years of university studies
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
The course only generates 10 ECTS if the student already has completed one of the following courses and 0 ECTS if both are completed:
- JUS271-2-A Energy Law
- JUS271-2-B Comparative Energy Law - Renewable energy and energy market
Access to the Course
The course is available for the following students:
- Admitted to the integrated master programme in law
- Admitted to the two-year master programme in law
- Granted admission to elective courses at the Faculty of Law
- Granted additional right to study following completed master degree in law at UiB
- Exchange students at the Faculty of Law
Note: The pre-requirements may still limit certain students' access to the course
Teaching and learning methods
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
An independent thesis between 2500 and 3000 words. The thesis theme will be announced during the course.
Minimum 75 % attendance is required. The attendance list must be signed by the students each lecture.
Forms of Assessment
4-hour digital school exam
Information about digital examination can be found here.
Question paper: English
Answer paper: English
Examination Support Material
Support materials allowed during school exam
See section 3-5 of the Supplementary Regulations for Studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.
Special regulations about dictionaries
- According to the Regulations for Studies, one dictionary is permitted support material during the examination. Bilingual dictionaries containing for example both Norwegian-English and English-Norwegian are considered as one dictionary.
- Bilingual dictionaries to/from the same two languages - for example Norwegian-English/English-Norwegian - in two different volumes are also considered as one dictionary (irrespective of publisher or edition).
- Dictionaries as described above cannot be combined with any other types of dictionaries.
- Any kind of combination which makes up more than two physical volumes is forbidden.
- In case a student has a special need for any other combination than the above mentioned, such combination has to be clarified with/approved by the course coordinator minimum two weeks before the exam. Students who have not been granted permission to have a special combination minimum two weeks before the exam will be subject to the usual regulations (section 3-5) about examination support materials.
A - E for passed, F for failed.
Spring. Exam only in semesters with teaching.
According to administrative arrangements for evaluating courses at the Faculty of Law.
Faculty of Law
Course teacher: Professor Ernst Nordtveit
Administrative contact: firstname.lastname@example.org